Software patents. Business method patents. The words alone make me clutch my wallet. Easy to get. Costly to defend. And too often just plain absurd.
I remember defending a case involving a software patent on a method of updating address book contacts by emailing people and asking them for their current information. Really? I could do that with a telephone and pencil. Another favorite was a case involving a method of inducing people to watch more TV commercials by making them more interesting. Again, really? Isn’t that just a matter of better writing and directing? But both patents used a computer for some thing or another, which allowed the plaintiff to argue that the inventions were “tied to” a machine and, therefore, satisfied the machine-or-transformation test used to determine patent-eligible subject matter.